Tigard will face Newberg Friday at state tourney

by: DAN BROOD - TIGER BALL -- Tigard junior Liz Irving (left) keeps the ball away from West Salem's Erin Green in Friday's playoff game.BEAVERTON — If nothing else, the Tigard High School girls water polo team sure seemed to show a flair for the dramatic as it competed in the Oregon State Playoffs.

The Tigers had a pair of closely-contested games during postseason competition, held Friday at the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District Swim Center in Beaverton.

First, the Tigers posted a 13-10 win over West Salem in a playoff contest and then, later on Friday, Tigard was edged 8-7 by Barlow in a state tournament quarterfinal contest.

“We had a couple of close ones,” Tigard coach John Ruzicka said.

The Tigers’ first close game was the contest with West Salem.

In that contest, West Salem held an early 2-1 lead before Tigard tied the game, at 2-2, when senior Taylor Roth scored on a long-range shot with 1 minute and 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Roth also opened the scoring in the second quarter, putting a lob shot into the West Salem goal to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead with 3:28 left to play in the period.

Tigard junior Liz Irving then scored from close range off a pass from Roth to up the Tigard lead to 4-2 with 2:56 left to play in the first half.

West Salem trimmed the lead to 4-3 on a goal by senior Molly Edison coming with 1:29 left in the quarter. But Tigard answered back, in very impressive style.

With just four seconds remaining in the second quarter, Tigard senior Kayla Wagenhofer scored on a shot from three-quarters the length of the pool, giving the Tigers a 5-3 halftime lead.

Tigard went on to hold a four-goal lead at the end of the third quarter on its way to getting the 13-10 victory.

Irving and Wagenhofer led the Tiger scoring attack in the win, with Roth and Laurel Nave-Powers also having goals.

“Liz Irving had a real good game and Kayla played well,” Ruzicka DAN BROOD - LOOK WHAT I DID -- Tigard senior Kayla Wagenhofer is all smiles after she made a goal from three-quarters the length of the pool in the Tigers''playoff win over West Salem.

In the state tourney quarterfinal game, Tigard went back and forth with Barlow throughout the contest.

Tigard took a 5-3 lead into the fourth quarter, but Barlow rallied and went up 8-7 with a goal coming in the final 30 seconds. Tigard had one last chance, but its final shot was wide of the Barlow goal.

Tigard will be back in action Friday when it faces Newberg in a tourney consolation game starting at 11 a.m. at the Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis.

Tigard and Newberg have already played three times this season, with Newberg winning two of those games.

“We’re hoping to even the score,” Ruzicka said.

The winner of Friday’s game will face either Sunset or Lakeridge Saturday at 7:30 a.m. in the state tournament fifth place game.

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